In Quirks of the Quantum, Samuel Chase Coale argues that the twentieth century is the quantum era, riddled with all of the indeterminacies, blurriness, and entanglements that he attributes to quantum theory, which he describes as the “philosophical basis for quantum physics” (1). He acknowledges that “to truly understand quantum mechanics as a science, one would have to study mathematics,” which he readily admits his book does not undertake. Instead, he relies on the “tropes, metaphors and models” (ibid.) that scientists have published about the implications of quantum theory. He thus distinguishes mathematical formulae from philosophical constructions, privileging the latter over the former. Philosophy, however, does not provide a “basis” for quantum mechanics; rather, quantum mechanics describes the phenomena, and then philosophy struggles with what the physical theory implies.

Coale makes wide-ranging references to what quantum physicists, including Neils Bohr, have...

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